Tempers flare over HR scandal at DISD trustees meeting

Tempers got out of hand Tuesday night as the Dallas ISD board of trustees discussed a text message scandal involving two high level administrators.

Both resigned last week and got severance packages without board approval.

At Tuesday night's meeting, trustees basically ended up in a shouting match as they ironically talked about the need for increased sensitivity training.

The plan was to open the meeting and immediately going into closed-door executive session, but board members Joyce Foreman, Elizabeth Jones and Bernadette Nuttall argued that a public open discussion of what's going on with DISD's HR department should have been on the agenda.

Last week, DISD's top HR person, Carmen Darville, and one of her executive directors, Jose "Tony" Munoz, resigned after the release of instant messages between the two in which they poked fun at other employees -- their ages, race and religion.

They talked about ways of driving employees out in one exchange about what they would do if they saw a former colleague.

"Basically put him in a 55 gallon drum cover him in oil and gas and light him up," Munoz said in a message.

"Sounds like something like what I know to be called arson," said Darville.

More than 30 minutes after the meeting opened, board President Miguel Solis, who was still outwardly calm, finally gaveled the board into executive session – a session which lasted just a few minutes, but ended with an agreement to give up for now and try again later.

Clearly, some on the board think Supt. Mike Miles was wrong to offer severance packages, $55,000 for Darville and $22,000 for Munoz.

"I want to know more about the messages, know more about the investigation and at the same time I'm concerned about the severance package," said Foreman.

"Until there is full transparency from management to the board and that the board has that information, the board has really been left in the dark here," said Jones.

Nuttall, Foreman and Jones were the vocal ones Tuesday night, but others on the board are also questioning why Miles is giving severance pay to Darville and Munoz.

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